When Being a Mom is Hard

Have you ever felt like a failure as a mom because you got a not-so-great call from the principal’s office? Me too.

On the flip side, have you ever felt like the greatest mom ever because your child got some special recognition? Me too.

We moms should never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our kid’s choices.

I need to let this crucial truth sink in. I’m posting about this today if for no other reason, sweet sister, than the fact I need this message. So, forgive me if the blog on this Monday preaches a message only to myself.

I’ve got five amazing kids. I really do. They are wildly funny, imaginative, moody, opinionated, strong, weak, happy, sad, good and sometimes not-so-good. In other words they’re pretty normal. And while I’ve done everything in my power to raise them to turn out amazingly awesome – and they very well might turn out amazingly awesome – there aren’t any guarantees.

Sometimes bad parents raise terrific kids.

And sometimes terrific parents raise kids that chase bad things their whole life.

So, what’s a mama to do?

Embrace the process. Learn from the process. Let God speak to us during the process. And see the process of raising kids as an ongoing opportunity to invest beyond ourselves.

We get to love our kids like crazy. Pray for them faithfully. Talk to them regularly. Listen to them tenderly. Model honesty and integrity. And point them to Jesus at every turn.

We get to do all that.

And tucked within these privileges is the reward. As long as I look for the reward within the process, I won’t misplace my expectations. I have to rest in the assurance that God sees everything I invest in these kids.

And He will use every step of this process for good. The process will be good for me. And this process will good for my kids. It will be good. But this process won’t always make me feel good or look good.

If I always expect my kids to make me feel good or look good, I am setting us all up for failure. My kids were never meant to carry the weight of a mama’s need for validation. I can’t let their failures send me to bed. And I can’t wear their successes like mommy medals of honor.

Motherhood is tough you know?

It really is.

However, it’s also our only opportunity to reach into the generations to come and make a difference. So, an imperfect but wonderful difference I will make.

Connect with other moms who are determined to make a wonderful difference in their kids’ lives at the Hearts at Home Conference, March 13-14! I’m excited to be a keynote speaker along with my friends Dr. Gary Chapman and Ken Davis. It’s going to be a fun time with other mamas who understand our struggles.

Today, I’m giving away one VIP package to the conference with gifts for 2 people so you can bring a friend with you if you win! The package includes:

– 2 tickets for the Friday conference
– 2 tickets for Mom’s Night Out
– Free parking passes
– A gift basket from Hearts at Home
– 2 backstage passes (so we can hang out!)

To be entered to win, leave a comment below telling me who you’d bring with you and why.

To find out more information about the conference and to purchase your tickets, click here.


  1. Janie Hale says

    Thank you for your post! I am guilty of judging myself by my boys achievements or short comings. So unfair to them and myself. Really needed to hear this!

  2. Kristan carter says

    I would bring my sister in law . I have 4 kids and she has 5. All of your messages speak so much to us and would love to hear you speak in person !

  3. Elizabeth says

    I would bring my sister. She is suffering from cancer and cannot do all that she used to do for her family. She needs to know that even without performance that she is valuable and she is loved. She might even find some ideas about how she still has influence in her children’s training and other tips on helping her home run more smoothly through God’s great providence and wisdom. This would be a wonderful time for us to get away as sisters and friends as well.

  4. Caitlin says

    I would honestly love to go myself- im a young single momm my to my beautiful baby boy who is 4 months. I would take one of my best friends or my mom- b/c my mom has been my support system every step of the way and it would be awesome if we could go together!! we both need a break and this would be perfect!!! ❤️❤️

  5. jennifer bovee says

    I would bring my mom. She is my best friend and I just adore/admire her love/devotion to her kids/grandkids. My mom grew up in foster care and was never shown love or how to be a mom yet she loved us three kids and always put us first
    Three kids and all different activities she never complained. She is true definition of mom. We are doing your devotion study made to crave and it’s amazing. Eye opening, for years I have walked a bumpy path. The last few weeks getting to the core of why, without Jesus. I am a Jesus Girl. Thank you for everything.

  6. says

    I would bring my dear friend Julie. We got to see you in Lubbock, TX not to long a go. You have have been a blessing to me. I am going through this with my youngest son of 4 children . I meet with the principal tomorrow. I would love to go! You inspire so my women! You have change my lives. God best you!

  7. Nicole Moore says

    There are so many women who deserve to attend this conference more than I do and especially for free because I probably couldn’t afford to get there. I have been blessed by this post because being a stay at home mom my kids lives are what I use to validate my life. They are my”job.” There are no pay raises or promotions that people see in a corporate job. There are only the fickle attitudes of a 3, 4 and 8 year old I use to judge my success on. As I’m learning this is not how I should live my life I thank God for his encouraging words through people like you and other women who put there words to text to encourage us that God purpose is greater then the box we keep him in. Yes I would absolutely love to attend this conference and I know who I would bring with me but I want to just encourage you to keep doing what God has gifted you to do.

  8. Kayla Lupo says

    My husband and I have adopted five children and only one we have raised from birth. The rest have come older and broken. I am a stay at home mother and struggle to find the refreshment I need to pour back into these children. I have been praying for an event to connect with other woman and I think this would be a great way to refill my tank. I would bring a friend of mine who has adopted 9 children who needs as much or more than I do!

  9. Mary says

    Lysa, I had to look you up after listening to Focus on The Family. I took a deep breath as I never heard anyone speak about the challenges I have as a mom and always wondered how other moms are doing it. You refreshed my soul. I don’t want to learn from perfect people, I want to learn from people like me. I want to learn from real people with real situations. What you described on the show with focus on the family describes most of all my struggles. The juggling, the homework, the kids, cooking, the HOUSE, ugh, house work is never ending. Sometimes I’m at my best and sometimes I just don’t have the energy to “put out that next fire.” Thank you for reaching out to the rest of us, for being real, for being you. I struggle with Proverbs 31 and I said God, I want to be this mom..how can I manage all of this and try to save money all at the same time. I admit when I do finally get to watch TV, I’m jealous of the people on the couponing show. How do they do it!! I’m lucky if I can save $3.00 on my whole grocery list. I’m that mom that reads prayer books for my kids, that reads devotionals, that reads books and books to make sure I’m the best mom that I could be for my kids. I’m exhausted. I can’t seem to finish books or find time to work-out to release some stress. I need more time in the day. But all this to say…I’m glad we are all in this together. Glad I found you and your website and I’ll be encouraging other moms to stay connected. Thank you.

  10. Nombongo says

    Lysa,thank you for your lovely posts-all are always refreshing,therapeutic and empowering.They always touch my very existence as a widowed mother of 2 ‘adult children’ (males), 2 teenagers (males) and the youngest only daughter who is 10 years old.

    Sometimes,I feel overwhelmed but draw strength and inspiration from material such as this.Thank you so much,Lysa.

  11. Kim Dukes says

    I know this is an old devotion, but it came at the right time for me to read it. I have a 19 year old, 17, and a 13. My 19 is trying to sow his oats (we will say). I have been extremely disappointed in him lately and my heart just aches. I cry out to Jesus, but feel like I have repeated that pray so many times that I have come silent and tell Jesus you know my heart, you know what I need and what I am asking from you. Even though I know he wants to hear the words. I am heart broken. Your post has helped me realize that yes, I raised him right, I taught him from right and wrong, but his choices he is making now is not by my hand but my his doings. I just ask that you will pray for my son that he will return his heart back to Jesus. I pray for me and my husband for strength that we will need for the coming days, weeks, months, (I hope not) years.

  12. AF says

    Thank you lysa for digging so deep with this devotion. It touched me deeply and helped to refocus me. I struggle everyday with my backpack of mommy mistakes and constantly wish I could have taught my children what the lord would have preferred me to teach them. The only thing that I have to hold onto to is that hopefully the lord can take all the ugly and turn it into something that would glorify Him and only him. I know he knows my heart…so I pray he intervenes in our children’s lives asap.